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Blackpool To Host England U21 Friendly

12 October 2012

Three Lions To Take On Northern Ireland

England will be Blackpool-bound next month as they take on near neighbours Northern Ireland in an Under-21 friendly at Bloomfield Road.

The Young Lions, led by head coach Stuart Pearce, will take on the Irish in the final international fixture of 2012. It will be the first time England have met Northern Ireland at Under-21 level.

The game will take place at Blackpool Football Club on Tuesday 13 November 2012 (kick-off 7.30pm BST) and will be shown live on ESPN.

Tickets are priced at £10 for adults, £5 for children and a family ticket (two adults and two children) is priced at just £25.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 0844 847 1953 or online at

Stuart Pearce said: “It will be great to have a Home Nations tie to look forward to next month, and hopefully we’ll be in a position where we are building towards the Under-21 Championship Finals next year in Israel.

“Northern Ireland played our play-off opponents Serbia in the last qualifying campaign so they will provide us a good test and match-up for us.

“We have got a couple of Blackpool players in the current squad, in the shape of Nathan Delfouneso and Thomas Ince, so it’ll be a really nice occasion for them to potentially play in front of their own fans.”

Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road ground, where the maestro Stanley Matthews used to dazzle the crowds, staged a full international against Ireland back in 1932. Another England legend, Dixie Dean, led England’s attack but it was team-mate Bobby Barclay who scored the only goal of the contest before a 25,000 crowd.

Bloomfield Road is still being chosen to host international matches, with England's U19s, U16s (twice) and Women’s teams all in action there in the last seven years. England’s U19s beat their Moldovan counterparts 1-0 in a UEFA Championship Qualifier in 2005, Sunderland’s Grant Leadbitter scoring with a penalty, while England’s Women rattled in eight goals without reply against the Maltese in a World Cup Qualifier three years ago. Bloomfield Road was also a venue for the European Women's Championships in 2005 hosting two games.

Pool Secretary Matt Williams said the club was honoured to host such a fixture: "We are obviously delighted and honoured that the FA have asked us to host this fixture. We are certain that the supporters from across the North West will come to Blackpool for the game and I am sure they will be impressed with the work that has been undertaken at Bloomfield Road and in the town over the last few years."

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